Troubleshooting Your Mac With Apple’s Time Machine And Time Capsule

Here’s another good reason to invest in an external backup drive and set up your backup strategy immediately: Time Machine can serve as an excellent troubleshooting device.

Back in the OS 9 days, there was a third-party software program called Rewind. It kept an incremental backup of your Mac so that, if anything went wrong, you could revert your operating system to the point in time just before the problem cropped up.

Even though OS X is much more reliable than OS 9, it is still not perfect, nor is the world in which we live. Mac OS X can still be corrupted in little ways, by power failures or by application installations that conflict with each other.

Imagine the productivity boost if, instead of spending countless hours troubleshooting minor system problems, you could simply revert your Mac back to the way it was before the trouble occurred! This would make the Mac’s legendary ease-of-use even greater.

You can with Apple’s Time Machine. There is an excellent website that explains how to do this: http://web.me.com/pondini/Time_Machine/14.html. I have not tried this personally, but I will the next time I do a clean system reinstall!

Time is very precious to anyone in business and the less time you need to spend troubleshooting, the more time you can devote to making money.

To make Time Machine work in the most efficient way for you you will of course need an external backup drive, and it is best to haveone that is considerably larger than the contents of your Mac’s internal hard drive. This is because Time Machine makes incremental backups.

What this means is that it backs up not only the current state of your Mac but the older files you have created and since deleted, changed, or otherwise modified. That way, you can revert any folder or document to the way it was previously, in case you change your mind or inadvertently throw something away.

One excellent such drive is made by Apple. It’s called Time Capsule, and it is designed especially to work with Time Machine. Time Capsule incorporates, at the time of this writing, a wireless 1TB or 2TB hard drive, and it is specifically designed to work with Time Machine in Mac OS X leopard or Snow Leopard. After the initial backup, it updates itself with changed files automatically and wirelessly in the background, so you never need to worry about backing up again.

If you have multiple Leopard or Snow Leopard Macs, say a desktop in one room and a laptop MacBook that you carry with you, Time Capsule can back up and store files for each one. No more bother connecting a backup drive to each machine. Time Capsule can do it all.

Whatever you do, institute a regular backup program for your Mac today!

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